Just over one month ago, members of our 2014-2018 Newmarket Town Council took our oaths of office amid an air of excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead for our town.

My colleagues and I have the responsibility to build upon the achievements of the last Council, which laid a solid foundation for the transformation of our community to build the “New Newmarket”, a compassionate community that has an eye on our social balance sheet in addition to our financial balance sheet.

The past Council committed to tasks and projects that looked to the interests of future generations,. Many of the projects that are currently underway are part of a shared vision to “Renew Newmarket”, to build a vibrant, exciting community.

In the recent election, voters delivered several messages: they want their money spent wisely; they want recreational facilities that are accessible, well managed and affordable; they want to live in a safe, healthy community that is rich in arts and culture; and, they are looking to our leadership to identify, highlight and address what the future holds for our community. In doing so, we will face challenges and opportunities, but we must always have the best interests of our overall community at heart.

The reality facing our Council – and our residents – is that Newmarket as we know it is changing.. Our challenge going forward is to manage Newmarket’s inevitable transformation so that we are able to be forward-thinking, and at the same time be mindful of our town’s rich heritage and traditions.

In looking to the future, it is important that our town is well connected to the rest of the world in this digital age. For that reason, I am looking forward to the Broadband pilot project to explore the ways in which we can bring high-speed internet to Newmarket.

Our residents should be able to live, play and work locally and so we will need to focus on creating a more robust local economy. We must build upon our partnerships with Southlake Regional Health Centre, York University, Seneca College, VentureLabs, Hydro and our many Chamber of Commerce business members.

At the same time, by enhancing our relationships with our neighbours, we will achieve even better value for the residents of all of our municipalities. And, we can all agree that everyone should be proud to call Newmarket their home, and so we will need to continue to deliver exceptional services and maximum value for taxes.

Finally, we know that by 2051 Newmarket will be required to accommodate an additional 33,000 residents and 32,000 more jobs, and so our challenge is to manage our growth to create a vibrant and livable community

In conclusion, allow me to say that I am extremely proud of Newmarket – our residents, our town staff and our municipal government. I have every confidence that over the next four years, our Council will work diligently and productively to justify the faith the voters have placed in us.